Pain Relief Options During Childbirth
What is circumcision?
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the sheath of tissue covering the head of the penis. It is an ancient practice that has its origin in religious rites. Today, many parents have their sons circumcised for religious or other reasons.
How is circumcision done?
During a circumcision, the foreskin is freed from the head of the penis (glans), and the excess foreskin is clipped off. If performed on a newborn, the procedure takes about five to 10 minutes. Adult circumcision takes about one hour. The circumcision generally heals in five to seven days.
When is circumcision done?
Circumcision usually is performed on the first or second day after birth. (For Jewish children, circumcision is done on the eighth day.) The procedure becomes more complicated and riskier in older babies, children and men.
Is circumcision necessary?
The use of circumcision for medical or health reasons is an issue that continues to be debated. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn males. The procedure might be recommended in older boys and men to treat phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) or to treat an infection of the penis.
Parents should talk with their doctors about the benefits and risks of the procedure before making a decision regarding circumcision of their sons. Other factors, such as your culture, religion, and person preference also will affect your decision.
What are the benefits of circumcision?
There is some evidence that circumcision has medical benefits, including:
- A decreased risk of urinary tract infections
- A reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases in men
- Protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners
- Prevention of balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin)
- Prevention of phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (the inability to return the retracted foreskin to its original location)
Circumcision also makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean.
Note: Some studies show that good hygiene can help prevent certain problems with the penis, including infections and swelling, even if the penis is not circumcised. In addition, practicing safe sex is an important factor in reducing the risk of STDs and other infections.
What are the risks of circumcision?
Like any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with circumcision. However, the rate of problems associated with circumcision is low. Risks include:
- Risk of bleeding and infection at the site of the circumcision
- Irritation of the glans
- Increased risk of meatitis (inflammation of the opening of the penis)
- Risk of injury to the penis
Your Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
- Colds and Pregnancy
- Dental Care During Pregnancy
- Exercise During Pregnancy
- Genetic Screening
- Genetic Screening - Early Pregnancy
- Good Nutrition During Pregnancy for You and Your Baby
- Heartburn During Pregnancy
- How Smoking Affects You and Your Baby During Pregnancy
- How to Cope With the Physical Discomforts of Pregnancy
- Medicine Guidelines During Pregnancy
- Prenatal Care: Your First Visit
- Prenatal Ultrasound
- Prenatal Vitamins
- Sex During Pregnancy
- Sleep During Pregnancy
- STDs: What You Need to Know
- The Latest on Using Alternative Therapies in Pregnancy
- Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy
- Travel During Pregnancy
- Vaccination During Pregnancy
- What You Need to Know About HIV Testing
- When to Call Your Health Care Provider During Pregnancy
- Depression During Pregnancy
- Finding a Comfortable Position
- Increasing Calcium in Your Diet During Pregnancy
- Increasing Iron in Your Diet During Pregnancy
- Oral Glucose Test During Pregnancy
- Assisted Delivery
- Cesarean Birth
- Contraception During Breastfeeding
- Group Streptococcus and Pregnancy
- Pain Relief Options During Childbirth
- Premature Labor
- True Versus False Labor
- Vaginal Delivery After Cesarean Birth
- What to Pack for the Hospital
- Your Birth Day: What to Expect During Labor